The study was triggered by a perceived loss of control of governments over societal developments, due to globalization and
technological developments, which inhibit the effective protection of essential values in democratic societies.
and data protection are essential values in democratic societies, which are subject to the rule of law. The EU Treaties have
granted the Union a widely formulated role in ensuring effective protection of these fundamental rights of the individual,
by means of judicial review, legislation and supervision by independent authorities. Hence, the imperative of protection is
laid down at the constitutional level, empowering the Union to play its role as constitutional guardian of these two fundamental
rights. More precisely, Article 16 TFEU, read in connection with Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights
of the Union, lays down the tasks of the EU in relation to privacy and data protection as fundamental rights for individuals.
The mandate under Article 16 TFEU is broadly formulated and gives the Union - in principle - the power to act, and make a
difference. This is a subject where the EU can act successfully, by addressing a problem with a global scale and which is
This specific mandate of the EU in respect of privacy and data protection is the subject of
this study. The study analyses the contributions of the specific actors and roles within the EU framework: the judiciary,
the EU legislator, the independent supervisory authorities, the cooperation mechanisms of these authorities, as well as the
EU as actor in the external domain. The legitimacy and the effectiveness of the EU and of the operation of the actors and
roles within the EU framework are important perspectives for this analysis.